The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) will no longer have the final say in which clouds are fit for government use, a change the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) says should let more local players win work in Canberra.
The change is the result of 2019 ASD-commissioned independent review of its Cloud Services Certification Program (CSCP) and Information Security Registered Assessors Program (IRAP).
That review, the DTA announced yesterday, came to four conclusions:
- Close the CSCP and create new co-designed cloud security guidelines with industry
- Grow and enhance IRAP
- Establish Government and Industry Consultative Forums for cyber security
- Update incentives in Procurement and Administrative Instructions and Guidance to reflect the cessation of the CSCP.
The ASD has accepted those recommendations and yesterday stopped administering CCSP assessments.
That;s tricky news for Macquarie Government, Vault Cloud and Sliced Tech, the only local companies that made it through the CSCP and onto the list of clouds Australia's government is allowed to use (alongside Microsoft, AWS and NTT). All six make much of the CSCP accreditation making signifying security expertise that makes them ideal for any workload,
As of today, government buyers are instead being directed to the Australian Government Secure Cloud Strategy and other guidance about cloud security to inform their choice of cloud providers.
The DTA stated this new arrangement should "... open up the Australian cloud market to allow for more home-grown Australian providers to operate. This will also give government customers a greater range of secure and cost effective cloud services."
The change won't change anything on the DTA's existing ICT Marketplaces, which will continue to operate as usual. The DTA's Cloud Marketplace panel and its new approach to market in early 2020 also remain unchanged.
But the market is now a different beast: CSCP accreditation was not easy to obtain, putting it beyond the reach of many Australian channel businesses that run perfectly good small clouds.
With new rules in place, and the likes of the ASI Group and Forward IT already actively targeting federal government work, Canberran cloud work has become a lot more accessible the channel.